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Posts with tag card-of-the-week

Hearthstone Highlight: Inducing Battle Rage

Hearthstone Highlights Inducing Battle Rage

A patch recently deployed to Hearthstone brought a heavy nerf to the warrior card Battle Rage. The original iteration of this card was extremely powerful and one of the best card replenishers in the entire game. The card text originally said "Draw a card for each damaged character." You didn't use this card right away in the early game, but warrior decks are known for throwing their weight around and dishing out as much damage as possible. Pair it with a card like Whirlwind which pings every minion on the board for 1 damage and that can provide you with much needed cards. Note that Whirlwind says minions whereas Battle Rage says character -- Yes, that does refer to players who have also taken damage.

Thankfully, Battle Rage has since been nerfed. It has been reduced from 3 mana to 2 mana and the text now reads:

Draw a card for each damaged friendly character.

Playing with Battle Rage

Most players don't typically need to bust out a Battle Rage early on. The nerf means that your minions have to be wounded (and not dead) in order to take advantage of it. Thankfully, your minions have multiple ways to take damage. The tried and true method is to throw them at your opponent's minions. But if your opponent has no minions, there's a few things you can do. Cruel Taskmasters can ping a friendly minion for 1 damage and provide it with a +2 bonus attack. The Injured Blademaster comes into play pre-damaged. You can Slam your own minion (an extra card). You know what else is a beauty about warriors? Think about all the different interweaving minions that play off of your minions taking damage. Just look at Armorsmith and Frothing Berserker. Lastly, if your minions aren't going to be able to go toe to toe with your opponent, drop a Commanding Shout and charge their lines to soften them up.

Playing against Battle Rage

Battle Rage by itself doesn't represent much of a threat to you. The potential threat is based on the amount of cards it can draw into. If you're engaging your opponent's minions, make sure you actually finish them off. Warriors don't many methods to refill their hand, so Battle Rage, Shield Block, and Slam play key roles in that. Starve a warrior of their cards and minions and you'll be able to choke and stifle their offense. Obviously, there isn't much you can do if your opponent chooses to damage their own characters but you don't have to make their job easier.

Warrior decks are stronger now then they were prior to the reset and Battle Rage continues to play a key role there so don't completely discount it after the nerf. It is still strong enough to help you dig into your deck and find you the cards you need to win.

Check out other previously featured cards!

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone Highlight: Sylvanas Windrunner

Hearthstone Highlight Sylvanas Windrunner
Sylvanas Windrunner is a legendary rarity card. She can be crafted for 1600 arcane dust straight up (or alternatively by being really lucky in booster pack draws). Only costing the player 5 mana and coming out as a 5/5, her bang for the mana buck is pretty darned good. The fact that she's a neutral legendary means she can fit into any deck you're piloting. In my case, I like to utilize her in my shaman control deck. While Sylvanas doesn't have any combat abilities like taunt or charge, she does possess a rather special ability:

Deathrattle: Take control of a random enemy minion.

When she dies, take control of an enemy minion. Not many cards in the game will allow you to do that. Mind Control is the obvious one with Mind Control Tech being another. The funny thing about this card is that it's pretty amazing to watch players squirm and make weird plays to ensure that Sylvanas doesn't take over a random minion of theirs. I've seen players intentionally kill their own big guns by throwing them against my taunt minions. Sometimes they'll even kill 3 of their own minions and wipe out their side of the board just to explicitly make sure I don't gain control.

Think about that for a moment. Players are willing to trade 3 of their own minions for 1 to ensure that I don't steal their stuff. She really can mess with your mind.

Playing with Sylvanas Windrunner

At her core, Sylvanas is a card that punished your opponent for killing her. Your opponent can kill the 5/5 but only if they're willing to trade it for a random minion they have at their disposal. I would happily let Sylvanas die in exchange for a shaman's Al'Akir or a hunter's Savannah Highmane. Opponent has a juicy legendary in play? Try to use your spells or minions to pick apart the rest of theirs. As a mage, you can use the mage hero power to sort of "ping". I generally don't do this unless the opponent's legendary is something really awesome. In most cases, Sylvanas is an excellent threat just by herself.

Playing against Sylvanas Windrunner

Silence effects, guys! Anything you can use to silence Sylvanas to prevent her from stealing your Ragnaros or your King Krush! Do it! Alternatively, take a stock of your hand and the board. Is there anything worthwhile for Sylvanas to steal? If all you have is a Searing Totem (from Totemic Call) out, killing Sylvanas in favor of your opponent taking a Searing Totem isn't a bad idea. On the other hand, if you have a valuable minion on the board, you might not have a choice. Paladins and shamans can generate random minions with their hero power to hopefully get Sylvanas to take control of one of those.

Suppose the worst case scenario happens. You lose your bomb creature to Sylvanas. Analyze your hand or your deck and see what other removal spells you might have at your disposal. Obviously if you can Polymorph it or Hex it, you should. But if all you have is damage spells, you might have to save it and execute your own minion to prevent your opponent from taking command and benefiting from it.

Check out other previously featured cards!

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone Highlight: Animal Companion

Hearthstone Highlight Animal Companion
Today we're going to focus on hunters. Normally in World of Warcraft, I scoff at hunters. Why? Well, just because I can. I know hunters and priests don't exactly have a rivalry the way mages and warlocks do so no one will really understand it. With Hearthstone, that's a different story. The hunter class is one of the few classes that I main. I run an aggressive beast mastery deck in ranked play. One of the staple cards I use is Animal Companion. This card is also a part of the basic hunter deck so no booster pack luck is needed to draw him. Hunter loyalists can obtain the gold version of this card at level 40.

Playing with Animal Companion

When the card is played, it gives you a 1 of 3 different beasts that correspond with Rexxar's beast companions back during the Warcraft III: Frozen Throne expansion Orc campaign:

Leokk - Of the three beast companions, Leokk provides the most utility. I feel that Leokk is the "weakest" in terms of head to head but if you can play Leokk with beasts on the board, you're in a great position. If Leokk is by his lonesome, he's fairly weak. He'll still do a decent job picking off any of your opponent's low health minions though.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone Highlight: Twilight Drake

Hearthstone Card of the Week Twilight Drake
I love dragons. Who doesn't love dragons, especially when these are scaling dragons? The original iteration of Twilight Drake was that it was a 4/4 and the Battlecry effect granted it +1/+1 for each card in your hand. Getting these out on turn 3 (as the second player with The Coin) was immensely satisfying and it forced your opponent to respond immediately or start taking huge chunks of damage. The new version of the Drake has it starting out with a static 4 attack but the health scales with your hand size. This makes it extremely durable in the early game and still somewhat useful in the late game. Prior to the patch, I'd have 7/7 Drakes early on but once I reached the late game where I didn't have as many cards in my hand, it turned into a 3/3 or a 2/2, rendering it almost useless. Now, at least it will still pack a punch with the 4 attack!

Playing the Twilight Drake

You have a slight edge if you go second due to The Coin. You can use it on turn 3 to bring your drake out early, or wait until turn 4 and it'll act as an extra health point. In most cases, your drake will end up being a 4/5 or higher. The Twilight Drake's potency will be impacted by the type of deck you're using, too. Playing Twilight Drake in a heavy minion deck is almost a bad idea because your hand size will often be low as you're playing minions to overwhelm your opponent. Ideally, you want to play these in a more control-based deck like Mages and Shaman where you'll find yourself holding onto cards and reacting to your opponent's moves.

Playing against the Twilight Drake

While it is possible to go toe to toe against the drake in combat, it usually is a better idea to eliminate it with a crowd control spell. A Polymorph or a Hex will immediately neutralize it. Silence effects will remove the Battlecry and drop the health back down to 1 allowing you to send a weak minion to get rid of it. Also, while the drake will have a large pool of health, it doesn't have taunt. You can send your minions after it, but you might end up in a situation where the Drake takes down two or three of your minions before it dies. Shaman decks can easily deal with this by simply using Earth Shock. Read the wording of the card carefully: Earth Shock silences first, then deals 1 damage. So the Twilight Drake loses the health bonus from the Battlecry and then succumbs to the 1 point of damage.

All in all, a handy card to have for control users. It plays strongly with my Shaman control deck.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

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